Question 15, 2017 Political Law Bar Exam

XV.

A.

(Question XV-A, Political Law, 2017 Bar Exam)

According to Sec. 3, Art. VIII of the Constitution, the Judiciary shall enjoy fiscal autonomy. What does the term fiscal autonomy signify? Explain your answer. (3%)

Suggested Answer:

Fiscal autonomy contemplates a guarantee of full flexibility to allocate and utilize their resources with the wisdom and dispatch that their needs require. It recognizes the power and authority to levy, assess and collect fees, fix rates of compensation not exceeding the highest rates authorized by law for compensation and pay plans of the government and allocate and disburse such sums as may be provided by law or prescribed by them in the course of the discharge of their functions.

Fiscal autonomy means freedom from outside control. The Judiciary must have the independence and flexibility needed in the discharge of their constitutional duties. The imposition of restrictions and constraints on the manner the independent constitutional offices allocate and utilize the funds appropriated for their operations is anathema to fiscal autonomy and violative not only of the express mandate of the Constitution but especially as regards the Supreme Court, of the independence and separation of powers upon which the entire fabric of our constitutional system is based.

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(Notice: The suggested answers simulate those that a bar examinee may provide, and thus specific citations are not provided. Notwithstanding, in the reviewers, the bar exam question is answered under the appropriate topic which discusses the concepts and principles, as well as provide for specific citations. Accordingly, please refer to it on the reviewer or in the Library.)

B.

(Question XV-B, Political Law, 2017 Bar Exam)

May a complaint for disbarment against the Ombudsman prosper during her incumbency? Explain your answer. (3%)

Suggested Answer:

No. Under jurisprudence, an impeachable officer who is a member of the Bar cannot be disbarred without first being impeached. To grant a complaint for disbarment during the incumbency would in effect be to circumvent and hence to run afoul of the constitutional mandate that impeachable officers may be removed from office only by impeachment for and conviction of certain offenses listed in Article XI (2) of the Constitution.  

C.

(Question XV-C, Political Law, 2017 Bar Exam)

Sec. 3, Art. XI of the Constitution states that “[n]o impeachment proceedings shall be initiated against the same official more than once within a period of one year.”

What constitutes initiation of impeachment proceedings under the provision? (3%)

Suggested Answer:

The initiation takes place by the act of filing and referral or endorsement of the impeachment complaint to the House Committee on Justice or, by the filing by at least one-third of the members of the House of Representatives with the Secretary General of the House, the meaning of Section 3 (5) of Article XI becomes clear. Once an impeachment complaint has been initiated, another impeachment complaint may not be filed against the same official within a one-year period.

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(Notice: The suggested answers simulate those that a bar examinee may provide, and thus specific citations are not provided. Notwithstanding, in the reviewers, the bar exam question is answered under the appropriate topic which discusses the concepts and principles, as well as provide for specific citations. Accordingly, please refer to it on the reviewer or in the Library.)

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